The Feast of Knowledge

1 04 2010

What is the proper way of learning?  More importantly, which way is the most beneficial to our mind, soul, and heart?

To be a human is to be curious.  And with curiosity is the urge to learn.  A quote that was given in class for all the students to think over was, “We learn not by being told but by being puzzled and excited.”  I’ve thought over it, and this is what I would like to say:

This quote is talking about the ideal mindset of a person when learning.  With that mindset, the best sort of learning occurs.  It causes a passion behind the knowledge.  With passion, the knowledge learned has infinite directions it can lead.  Everyone knows what it is like to be forced to learn something that they weren’t puzzled or excited over.  A lack of passion doesn’t mean it is impossible to learn when told.  However, that knowledge without a spark will only lead to a stagnant end.  Being human is all about discovering and being in awe and amazement.  That is what most people desire most in life.

I believe everyone has a passion within himself or herself to learn about something.  What a dull and unfulfilled life it would be without a spark.  The infinite amount of knowledge in the world of astounding.  It would be stupid to not explore any different facet of the world.  I believe the desire of knowledge begins in everyone at a young age.  It needs to be nurtured so it will be able to grow.

My first vivid memory about a spark while learning was when I was near kindergarten.  I became fascinated when I finally understood the concept of “the world”.  All of the sudden, I wanted to travel everywhere, and to experience every culture.  I couldn’t believe that my little world in New Mexico looked differently from other people’s worlds.  I loved the concept of other countries and different languages.  I used to just stare at world maps.  I even would draw my own.  For such a little child (being the shortest student in my grade all through elementary school), I had very large dreams of traveling.  In my childhood home, there was the beautiful, hardback world geography book.  I would just stare and read every page.  Each country was mentioned with a map and quick facts.  Since elementary school, I see successes in the places the person travels within their lifetime.  When someone tells me they have never traveled out of the US, my heart hurts.  I feel that everyone should see something larger than his or her comfort zone and to be immersed in a different culture.  When you travel, though you might be different than the people around you, you will begin to understand more about yourself and the world.  It will even surprise you how much in common you might have with people who are so seemingly different.  Truly, it changes your perspective.  I’m not sure why I think traveling is so utmost important, but it’s been such an obsession since I was younger that I think it might be irreversible.  I will not be fully content until I travel and experience the world.  In order to do that, I have to make it a priority in my life, which I have, so I have full confidence that I can make it happen.  It excites me to know the future knowledge that I will learn through traveling.  I will get to learn about other cultures, traditions, people, thoughts, and landscapes.  Maybe even by my traveling, someone will learn about my culture and they will have a spark ignite.

The term “spark” is fitting when talking about knowledge.  When I think about a spark, the image of a match comes into my mind.  The moment a match becomes lit, it makes a small cracking noise and the fire seems to have come from nowhere.  First there is no fire.  The next instance there is a nice size flame.  I think the noise when a spark is first created is significant.  It is such an instantaneous moment, almost to the point it is a little unnerving.  When someone first gets a spark in some realm of knowledge, it is a little shaking how instant it becomes.  It doesn’t necessarily build into a small flame, but rather the flame just appears.  Almost as if the brain turned on a switch.  Just as with a match, this knowledge spark needs to be protected to keep it going at first.  Once this spark is cared for, and with the right surroundings, it can grow bigger.  The fire of the match has to venture outside of itself to become larger, just like as humans we have to venture outside of our spark to make it grow.  We need to add more outside knowledge and the spark will grow into a large fire, which is much harder than a small spark to stop.  As long as there are beneficial surroundings that keep the fire burning (trees, grass, oxygen etc with no oceans, wetlands, or rain), the one spark could burn such a massive expanse of land.  Boundaries in the mind can try to stop the fire from building, but as long as you nurture it, the growth will be overwhelming.  This is an exciting thing about life.  Unlike the environmental and atmospheric boundaries that can stop a fire, our mind is controlled through us.  We are the master’s of the flame.  And we can only hope that through our passion, that maybe someone else will find their spark, or someone can help us build ours.  A wonderful thing about a world as vast as ours, is that our options are also as vast within our minds.  The mind is precious, and it needs to be taken care of.  Most importantly, it needs to be USED to its POTENTIAL.  A mind that has been wasted is a truly tragic thing.  It all starts with a spark, and it needs nurture to grow.  Without the nurture, a spark will just disappear.

I don’t know why it has the time wrong again… I turned it in on March 31, 9:48 p.m.


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